To hear Lil Shaker and Ko-Jo Cue share spots on a track isn’t surprising. To hear that, the two BBnZ rappers are working or have a joint album ready for release may be a surprise to many. The confirmation of this came courtesy ‘Pen and Paper’, the first single from their joint album.
What is interesting about the joint album (rightly named Pen and Paper) has more to do with the fact that, Lil Shaker is back to rapping AGAIN. Shaker, has for a long while, made his presence known on the music scene mostly by dropping hooks (earning him the accolade Captain Hook) on other people’s songs. The Lil Shaker of the Skillions New Generation and the Birthday Mixtapes, has been lost for a long while. This new single seems to be the birth of that Lil Shaker.
For Ko-Jo Cue, his presence hasn’t waned. He has been releasing singles, videos and dropping verses on tracks. So, for the two to find a common ground to work together is nothing short of exciting.
The video for ‘Pen and Paper’ is well conceptualized. The transition between scenes were stitched together perfectly. Lil Shaker is shown leaving a contract signing meeting, rapping what could be described as the ‘hook’ of the song. The camera follows him out of the room. Just at the point of shutting the door, a shot of Ko-Jo Cue is shown, rapping his verse.
We saw how scenes transited into another, advancing the story they wanted to deliver: Cue being interviewed; Shaker on a red carpet airing his point of view (was the lady by his side snap chatting or taking a selfie?); Cue iseen in a locker room chilling out with his team. Then it comes full circle with the two trading bars.
The impressive yet simple video directed by Esianyo Kumordzi is enirely shot in black and white, heavy in continuity, good use of light and noticeable graphics.
There were moments in the video that caught my attention. They didn’t take anything away from the video anyway. Rather, they were good in their own rights.
First was how some of the scenes reflected the lyrics of the song, as evident on the 0.22 seconds mark, where Shaker talked down on a guard (hater) preventing him from leaving. Another moment was when Ko-Jo Cue ripped a plaque off the wall, smashed it on the ground (though it didn’t break into pieces). He then switched his steps, walked over it instead of stepping on it (watch from the 0.42-0.45 sec mark).
There were other interesting scenes in the video including references to cassette tapes (at the end where a stack full of classic tapes are shown), the umnistakable Obrafour poster for ‘Pae Mu Ka’ and the director’s cut scenes. The cassette references feed into the main focus of the 12 track album: taking it back to the basics of rap and hip-hop.